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Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko vows to prevent shock therapy

November 22, 2011, 14:07 UTC+3

“It would be impermissible to propose the shock therapy that we all lived through in the 1990s and with which we got into hot water,” Lukashenko said

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MINSK, November 22 (Itar-Tass) —— Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has promised that he would not let anything like “shock therapy” to be used in the country again.

“It would be impermissible to propose the shock therapy that we all lived through in the 1990s and with which we got into hot water,” Lukashenko said at a draft budget conference. “Even though that sort of policy was permitted to a certain extent, it was because we were under the powerful influence of western funds and experts, we trusted them, staying unaware of the real consequences. Today we should not step on the same rake.”

Lukashenko recalled that the West itself was now in big trouble and was looking for ways of curbing the turmoil on the market.

The president said that the Belarussian economy would not tolerate reckless experiments that might adversely affect the well-being of the people. He told the members of the government that the economy should not protect the interests of private businesses alone and that a balance of interest of all groups of the population should be maintained.

Lukashenko said he was very much alarmed over the government’s excessive enthusiasm about market reforms and its attempts to revise the policy and fundamental goals that had been formulated by Belarus’s national assembly.

“Our government is not some isolated agency, which is free to conduct policies at its sole discretion,” the president said. He reiterated that the country was on the right policy track and would stay on it further on.

“Nobody will be allowed to depart from that policy,” Lukashenko said.

He put the emphasis on some negative phenomena in the economy and the shortcomings that were still to be eliminated. He said it was clear to the naked eye that regrettably this year’s economic targets would fail to be met. The worst thing is inflation had hit the people’s well-being really hard.

“We dropped the well-established practice of controlling prices and other economic processes only to get major problems. Now we have to spend extra effort and funds to resolve them,” Lukashenko said.

He remarked that the no easy situation in the banking sphere by no means contributed to meeting the forecast parameters for this year. In particular, this is true of the credit resources. He said the government, instead of taking resolute action, had confined itself to fine talk about radical reforms.

“Chaos in action and scare stories in the media are a very unpleasant surprise. Still worse, all this affects the condition of society,” Lukashenko said. He warned the government that before saying something in public it should think twice and not forget the political aspects of its economy-related actions and statements.

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